Asian cuisine offers mouth-watering recipes that feature an exotic spice palette that really tantalises your taste buds. Compared to most western dishes, the food is generally much healthier and they offer a wide selection of vegetarian options. Take a look at 10 of the best vegetarian restaurants in the Philippines that will make you wonder why you ever ate meat.
1. Healthy Kitchen, Taguig
The name of this cantina-style restaurant says it all, and all the recipes are made using fresh organic ingredients using minimal amounts of salt and sugar. The vegan pizza is a big hit, and the talented chefs have replaced cheese with silken tofu to give an authentic taste.
2. The Vegetarian Kitchen, Quezon City
This cosy restaurant is located within a converted house and is a family-run establishment that seeks to reintroduce the concept of a meatless diet to the locals. Head chef Camille Soliongco-Acosta recreates well-known recipes such as meatloaf and local speciality Lengua Estofado (tongue) using only vegetables and the result is often better that the original.
3. Azotea Greens, Baguio City
For authentic Filipino dishes at a reasonable price, this charming café offers tasty bites that will soon convert you to a meatless lifestyle. As well as cruelty-free fare, the café sells vegan dairy alternatives and cosmetics that are not tested on animals.
4. Corner Tree Café, Makati
This small restaurant located on Jupiter Street has an extensive menu of home cooked meals that will both satisfy and comfort you. Try the tofu walnut burger that comes with sweet potato fries, or opt for one of their freshly prepared salads for a light and tasty lunch.
5. People’s Palace, Makati
This is a Thai restaurant that features a separate vegetarian menu and offers a wide choice of healthy and wholesome dishes. Try the classic Thai red curry made with bean curd or go tropical with the pineapple fried rice that comes laden with tasty vegetables.
6. RawVolution, Quezon City
Venturing into the raw food movement is a risky business for most restaurants, but owner and head chef Cheloy Ignacio has managed to create stunning dishes that will appeal to both the health conscious and the regular food lovers. The Portobello mushroom steak served with rosemary and garlic mashed potato is a big hit, and guests can even take part in food preparation lessons given by Cheloy herself.
7. Hapilife Healthy Food Corner, Olongapo City
Here you can find meat-free versions of steak, tuna, roast duck, and chicken drumsticks all for a reasonable price. It also serves vegan Filipino dishes and has a wide range of detoxifying fruit juices and smoothies.
8. Sugarleaf, San Juan
Situated on the ground floor of the Health Cube building, this small but busy restaurant offers organic dishes to eat-in or takeaway and even features a small minimarket selling fresh, healthy produce. Workshops are also held here educating people on healthy food and organic farming.
9. Heart To Hearth, Makati
Sweet lovers should head here to sample some of the finest vegan cupcakes in town as well as a wide selection of cookies and pastries. All of the items are packaged in recyclable material to help you do your bit for the environment whilst giving your body a much needed break from animal products.
10. Mandala Spa, Aklan
For something truly spectacular, head over to Boracay Island to the Mandala Spa for an afternoon of relaxation and nourishment for the body and soul. The spa features an all-vegetarian restaurant and the eggless Pad Thai is a particular favourite.
Vegetarian food has come a long way since the days of soggy lettuce and tofu burgers, and many restaurants are now creating gourmet cuisine that often rivals its meaty counterparts. Next time you are in the Philippines, head to one of the aforementioned restaurants to sample some of the local flavours in the form of healthy, cruelty-free dishes.